What motorcycle to choose?

by Annie
(Western New York)

I've just turned 50, am 5'1" and 120 pounds. (I hate that weight, but hormone therapy is tough...) Anyway, I've ridden with my husband as a casual, fair weather rider for nearly 30 years. I'm wondering if I'd enjoy cycling better if I were driving myself. Here's my fear: I'm a teacher toting pencils and book bags - my upper body strength isn't great, and I'm scared of the weightiness of bikes. I have to be able to touch the ground firmly. Scooters tend to appeal to me more and I just noticed that there are some that can go long-distance at highway speed. What can you recommend? He's got a Honda Valkyrie and an ST1300.

Comments for What motorcycle to choose?

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Apr 20, 2016
Aging and back problems NEW
by: Annie

My husband ended up buying me a PCX 150 scooter and I have to tell you that I love it. It agrees with my 53-year-old body that is experiencing loss of muscle now that I'm past menopause and lower back stiffness and pain. It looks fabulous, goes 55 mph, and is easily moved. I have need of a windshield because going over 45 mph puts strain on my problem neck, but otherwise, I love it. If you don't want to feel blown around by big trucks or big winds, it's probably not the "bike" for you, but I'm enjoying it. I just read it weighs 286 lbs. I'm a school teacher and my "kids" just love it when they see me pull up on my red PCX!

Apr 19, 2016
Body weight NEW
by: Awindsister

Your body weight does not have much to do with the size of the bike you choose. Newbies might tend to think so... You will not be carrying your bike , mostly it it is about keeping it balanced as we did when we learned to ride a bycycle. For a beginner, I personally would recommend something in between. A 650 is good. I would choose this over a 250 because it gives you a little grow room. As your skills improve, most people ,especially on the hwy. need a little extra power to get up to speed. There is not that much difference in the bike weight or frame size. Remember you control the speed. You will not outgrow you bike so quickly. I hope I have been of help. Good luck and good riding.

Apr 19, 2016
weight/size NEW
by: Jaime F.

Hey ladies! So I'm definitely looking into learning to ride a bike and then purchase a bike. I'm 5'5 and weigh 111 pounds. My question is, is my weight to low to start riding? If not, is 600-650cc's good for me-a beginner?

Oct 01, 2014
A bike to learn on
by: Bobbie

I you absolutely have no experience or a bit timid you won't go wrong getting on any of the 250's..I would not go smaller because you will out grow it too quickly.A 250 good.I t has the power and is quick enough for you ladies who live in urban areas and must play in the streets..Also it is a light bike and I have been listing to you. It seems to bee a factor for you. But ladies you arenT going to carry it. If you can sit on the bike and have boyh feet flat that is the most important. Now, if you have a wee bit of experience... Meaning you can turn on the key, balance yourself and the nerve to dare"...... Go 650. The weight is almost identical, I mean about 25lbs and that isnT much. This bike trust me is wonderful to learn on you will buy one bike and keep it for life. I taught my sister to ride on a 650 and she was 64 when she learned and had 0 experience when she learned.She took her motorcycle test on this bike and still rides it. She and I ride from 400-500 mi. Per wk.We are retired seniors,have cars, but prefer the bikes. We also live in a densely populated area. IYou might want't to know what I ride..I't's a Harley Iron 883 sporty.I too learned on a 650 and go much higher. My real message to you is not to start too small whether you are younger or older when you learn.

Aug 14, 2013
Try before you buy
by: Sokokis

I work for a motorcycle safety school and have seen many novices become successful riders. Take the BRC and while you're there, ask the instructors for advice. Most of them have ridden for years and can guide you to some appropriate choices.

Jul 20, 2013
Try several and may keep two
by: Anonymous

I also took the safety course and glad I did. I have had Yamaha 650, 1300 and 1100 for highway driving. I have decided that I like the 1100 best so sold the others but I also have a 150 scooter just to ride back and forth to work since it is only 5 blocks.

Jul 16, 2013
LOL Annie...now that is funny!
by: Jeanne

Annie I got a great laugh at your last post...sorry, I should have been a little better at my post and said Harley Davidson offers the class...guess the guys at Home Depot would have been clueless!

Thanks for sharing...and allowing us to laugh WITH you!!

Jul 16, 2013
Safety Course Rib Tickler
by: Annie

I'm the original poster.

Last night I was discussing possible bikes with my husband as he worked on his new ST1300 Honda. I said that several of you advised taking a bike safety class as it really builds a new biker's confidence. He agreed. I said, "Yeah, I should take a class. I never new that Home Depot offered cycling classes." Did he laugh! "HARLEY DAVIDSON, honey! Not Home Depot!" I have a lot of learning to do...

Jul 16, 2013
One more Rebel
by: Anonymous

Glad to see someone else here loves her Rebel. I'm 61 and four years into it - and I don't see myself going any bigger. It's a great little bike! Just make sure you find a bike you're comfortable and confident on!

Jul 14, 2013
by: Lois

I'm 5'3 and I have had several bikes the one I own now I won't part with it's a BMW F800ST it was factory lowered and also has the lower seat. I can flat foot this bike and as far as it being small, well I travel by myself, last year I rode from western NC to Madawaska Me and back alone and had no problems at all with this bike. I can pack enough for 2 weeks if I need to and can take all the luggage off and hit the twisties for a day of fun. I took the MSF course and they used small cruiser style bikes I personally found them to be very uncomfortable, I like to have my feet under me not out in front of me, balance is everything on a bike. I bought my bike new in sept. 2011 it now has just over 20,000 miles and I'm looking forward to the next 20,000.

Jul 14, 2013
Why the obsession with Cruiser style bikes?
by: Judy

While I understand new rider's reasoning regarding wanting to have a low enough seat height to flatfoot at least one side, people need tp be a lot more open-minded about the many different types of available bikes....there are so many more types than the overly heavy, ponderous Cruiser style bikes! There are street legal dirt bikes like the Yamaha TW200, which have low seat heights and are very lightweight and easy to manuever! Do some extensive research and you'll find there is SO much more out there to choose from, and don't limit yourself to an underpowered Rebel 250 or a huge, heavy 600-900 lb. Harley or Harley clone Cruiser!

I can't think of a worse bike to learn on than a gigantic, extremely heavy, long fork raked Cruiser. Ladies, do yourself a favor and find a light, easy to handle bike like a '01 Kawasaki Super Sherpa 250, a new Suzuki TU-250 standard, a Yamaha TW200, or Honda CBR250R.

Jul 13, 2013
Honda VTX
by: Anonymous

I took the MSF at 50 and bought a fixer upper of a Yamaha 535. Moved on to my Honda 600cc and I love it. I am 52 and 5'3" and again will not mention weight but it is a nice seat for me. Taking the course will help you decide what you want to do. I originally wanted a scooter too, but once I sat on a bike, well the rest is history. Have fun with whatever you choose. :)

Jul 13, 2013
Honda Rebel
by: Anonymous

I decided on a Honda Rebel for my first bike and am so happy with that choice. I'm 5'4" and the Rebel is a nice comfortable height with even a little room to spare. Some salespeople tried to talk me into something bigger saying I\d get tired of the 250 too quickly, but I'm still loving it and even when I'm ready to move to a bigger bike, I'm going to keep my little Rebel.

Jul 13, 2013
Finding the right bike
by: Joan

I agree with Jeanne. Take a motorcycle safety class that the MSF or Riders edge offers. (I also took the Riders Edge class but mine was a ladies only class.). I have a 883 Superlow and love it! While I'm taller than you are I am older (58) and don't have any trouble maneuvering my bike. As Jeanne suggested, go to different dealers and sit on a variety of bikes. As far as standing it up from the kickstand, just turn the handlebars to the right and it stands up a lot easier. You can also add a thicker soul to your riding boots to help you touch the ground.

Jul 13, 2013
This one!
by: Anonymous

Try a Yamaha 650. I am 5'2". Love it!

Jul 13, 2013
What motorcycle to choose?
by: Jeanne

Rather you decide to get your own bike or not I strongly urge you to take the rider's class (I took the Rider's Edge course at HD). The class will give you an idea what you can handle. Then go to different dealerships and try out bikes to see what fits you. For me, I am also 50 and 5'2"...we won't discuss weight haha...but I got a Harley Sportster 883L and they were able to lower it for me so that I can plant my feet firmly. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to move my bike, but you do get used to the weight and honestly it is not hard. Give it a try...see what you think in class before you get a bike. Wish you the best!!

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